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Henry Vokey: Man of a Thousand Boats

Henry Vokey was truly a legend in his own time. He was a quiet, unassuming and humble family man who grew up in the small fishing village of Little Harbour, Trinity Bay — certainly not the kind of person we usually think about in a line that includes the word “legend.” A master boatbuilder, Henry was known as the man of a thousand boats. Like many Newfoundland and Labrador men, Henry developed a keen interest in the art of wooden boatbuilding when he was a boy. From a family of ...

Final Fisheries Regulation Amendments: Three Key Issues Addressed

The long-awaited amendments to federal fisheries regulations codifying key aspects of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) PIIFCAF policies, including prohibitions on “controlling agreements,” are finally final. Anticipated since the June 2019 Fisheries Act refresh, the final amendments to the regulations come with some surprises, often differing significantly from the proposed draft amendments the DFO initially released in July 2019. The amended regulations prohibit the transfer ...

Latest N.L. Snow Crab Assessment Showing Positive Signs

Some industry observers often refer to fishermen as eternal optimists. While others might debate that label, there was certainly quite a bit of optimism being expressed over the winter by Newfoundland snow crab fishermen regarding the upcoming 2021 season, particularly in NAFO fishing areas 3L and 3Ps. And for now, it appears that optimism might have been justified. For the fourth year in a row, scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) presented a somewhat bright, yet ...

New Website Promoting Canadian Seafood

Canada is world-renowned for producing some of the most exceptional seafood in the world. The taste and quality of Canadian seafood is unlike anywhere else in the world. That is why Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, have launched a new website, Seafood from Canada, to promote the region’s seafood to international export markets. The new website is www.SeafoodfromCanada.ca “Canadian seafood harvesters, farmers and processors work tirelessly ...

When is a Plan Not a Plan?

For years there have been calls for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to develop a rebuilding plan for our Northern cod stocks. Leaving aside the larger question of whether it is even possible for humans to rebuild wild stocks, we want to look at what the department finally came up with just before Christmas to supposedly satisfy those calls. The federal rebuilding plan as presented by DFO begins with four overviews — a biological synopsis, an overview of the cod fishery, ...

LFA 33, 34 Seasons Continue on an Even Keel

Above: Fishing boats line up to offload their catch of the day at the Falls Point wharf in Woods Harbour. Kathy Johnson photo   It has been steady as she goes for the first two months of the southwest Nova fishery in lobster fishing areas (LFA) 33 and 34. “It’s been very steady,” said Lockeport buyer Mike Cotter of Cotter’s Ocean Products. “It hasn’t been a crazy season like normal years when there would be an $11/pound shore price, two days later it would be $13, ...

Industry Cautiously Optimistic as P.E.I. Lobster Fishery Readies to Open

There is cautious optimism from both harvesters and processors as the start of the spring lobster fishery on Prince Edward Island nears. “I think we’re going to be in a better position than we were May 1st last year when there was so much uncertainty,” said Gerry Gavin, executive director of the P.E.I. Seafood Producers Association in an interview. “If you look at where we were last year, there was so much uncertainty and discussions if there should even be a season.” Going ...

The Mysterious Loss of the Sarah Anne – Part II

Above: Doughboy Cove, where Isaac Kettle’s body was found, 11 days after the sinking of the Sarah Anne   When the longliner Sarah Anne, out of St. Lawrence, was overdue from crab fishing on May 25, 2020, a quiet anxiety quickly spread throughout the town. Captain Ed (Eddie Joe) Norman, his son Scott, his nephew Jody Norman, along with a family friend Isaac Kettle were experienced fishermen but the town was no stranger to tragedy at sea and everyone was aware of the deadly ...

Tracking Whales With Sound

This Could Be a Promising Innovation, Provided it is Used Properly   The presence of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence comes with major challenges: understanding where these whales are found, how many there are and what they do. Several techniques exist to obtain answers to these questions, including observation from vessel and aerial surveys, tagging and even drones. Another major category of solutions lies in acoustic devices, whether they are underwater ...

Investigation Ongoing into Chief William Saulis Sinking

Above: The scallop boat Chief William Saulis. Contributed Photo   As the new year dawned, the search continued for the Chief William Saulis and the five fishermen who went missing with the vessel in the early morning hours of Dec. 15 in the Bay of Fundy. Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Daniel Forbes, Eugene Francis and the boat’s captain, Charles Roberts, were still missing as The Navigator was going to press. The body of crewman Mike Drake was found the same night the ...